Angelina Jolie had a preventive double mastectomy

Monday, May 27, 2013

In this morning's NY Times,May 14th , Angelina Jolie writes about her decision to have a preventive double mastectomy to hopefully ward off cancer.
My mother fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56. She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was.
We often speak of "Mommy's mommy," and I find myself trying to explain the illness that took her away from us. They have asked if the same could happen to me. I have always told them not to worry, but the truth is I carry a "faulty" gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
It happens that just last night I read about the BRCA-1 gene in Siddhartha Mukhergee's excellent biography of cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies. This part is right near the end of the book:
Like cancer prevention, cancer screening will also be reinvigorated by the molecular understanding of cancer. Indeed, it has already been. The discovery of the BRCA genes for breast cancer epitomizes the integration of cancer screening and cancer genetics. In the mid-1990s, building on the prior decade's advances, researchers isolated two related genes, BRCA-1 and BRCA-2, that vastly increase the risk of developing breast cancer. A woman with an inherited mutation in BRCA-1 has a 50 to 80 percent chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime (the gene also increases the risk for ovarian cancer), about three to five times the normal risk. Today, testing for this gene mutation has been integrated into prevention efforts. Women found positive for a mutation in the two genes are screened more intensively using more sensitive imaging techniques such as breast MRI. Women with BRCA mutations might choose to take the drug tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer, a strategy shown effective in clinical trials. Or, perhaps most radically, women with BRCA mutations might choose a prophylactic mastectomy of both breasts and ovaries before cancer develops, another strategy that dramatically decreases the chances of developing breast cancer.
Radical is an understatement...what a tough and brave decision to make. Again from the book, I liked this woman's take on it:
An Israeli woman with a BRCA-1 mutation who chose this strategy after developing cancer in one breast told me that at least part of her choice was symbolic. "I am rejecting cancer from my body," she said. "My breasts had become no more to me than a site for my cancer. They were of no more use to me. They harmed my body, my survival. I went to the surgeon and asked him to remove them."
The genetic testing company 23andme screens for three common types of mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes:
Five to 10 percent of breast cancers occur in women with a genetic predisposition for the disease, usually due to mutations in either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. These mutations greatly increase not only the risk for breast cancer in women, but also the risk for ovarian cancer in women as well as prostate and breast cancer among men. Hundreds of cancer-associated BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations have been documented, but three specific BRCA mutations are worthy of note because they are responsible for a substantial fraction of hereditary breast cancers and ovarian cancers among women with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. The three mutations have also been found in individuals not known to have Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, but such cases are rare.

Update: Two things. First, and I hope this isn't actually necessary because you are all intelligent people who can read things and make up your own minds, but let me just state for the official record that you should never never never never NEVER take medical advice, inferred or otherwise, from celebrities or bloggers. Come on, seriously. If you're concerned, go see a doctor.
Two: I have no idea what the $99 23andme test covers with regard to BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations beyond what the company states. The most comprehensive test for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations was developed by a company called Myriad Genetics and costs about $3000. Myriad has patented the genes, a decision that has been sharply criticized and is currently being decided by the Supreme Court.
But many doctors, patients and scientists aren't happy with the situation.
Some are offended by the very notion that a private company can own a patent based on a gene that was invented not by researchers in a lab but by Mother Nature. Every single cell in every single person has copies of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
Myriad officials say they deserves the patent because they invested a great deal of money to figure out the sequence and develop "synthetic molecules" based on that sequence that can be used to test the variants in a patient.
"We think it is right for a company to be able to own its discoveries, earn back its investment, and make a reasonable profit," the company wrote on its blog.
I do know the 23andme test covers something related to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations...a friend of a friend did the 23andme test, tested positive for the BRCA1 mutation, and decided to have a preventive double mastectomy after consulting her doctor and further tests. (thx, mark, allison, and ★spavis)

Medicinal Herbal Teas for Breast Cancer Recovery

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Herbal Teas For Breast Cancer
Research has shown that herbal teas help to balance the whole person physically, mentally, and emotionally while conventional medicine does its work.
In this video:
Peppermint tea - Soothe the stomach
Chamomile tea - Sleep aid
Echinacea tea - Helps the Immune system

Geriatric Symposium for Healthcare Professional - May 22nd

Please find attached a flyer for an upcoming Geriatric Symposium we are having at The Village.  We have partnered with North Florida Regional Medical Center for the 4th Annual Geriatric Symposium for Healthcare Professionals. 

Cost is only $25.00 for 6 CEU’s for Nursing, PT, OT, Pharmacy, LCSW, Respiratory Therapy, NHA and Dieticians.  (CEU’s for PT still pending).   Breakfast and lunch provided.

Space is still available – see flyer for info on how to RSVP!  

Feel free to pass on to others that may be interested.

Free Webinar: Living Beyond Breast Cancer

There will be a free webinar hosted by Living Beyond Breast Cancer on Wednesday May 15th from noon to 1 p.m., called Anxiety and Depression After Breast Cancer, with Dr. Ruth Steinman, Dept. of Psychiatry, U. of Pennsylvania. 

To register, call (610) 645-4567 or sign up at

CEU credits are available for licensed social workers. Webinars are audio accessible by phone or computer.

Cancer Connections May 22nd at Hope Lodge

Plan to join us on Wednesday May 22nd for a presentation by
Dr. John Wingard:    Blood Cancers: What's new in Bone Marrow Transplant.

Dr. Wingard is Deputy Director for Research and the Director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program at the University of Florida Shands Cancer Center.

We meet at noon in the Hope Lodge conference room. 

Please RSVP no later than Monday May 20th if you would like to be included in the lunch count.  The requested donation is $3;  a spread of healthful
salads and soup is served.   You are also welcome to bring a healthful dish to share, or your own lunch. 

Feel free to share this invitation with anyone having a "cancer connection" who might like to attend.

Barb Thomas

Is It Better To Look Good Than To Feel Good?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Victoria Moore is a writer and CSC member.

Style is optimistic. It is optimism made visible. Style presumes that you are a person of interest, that the world is a place of interest, that life is worth making the effort for.
Hara Estroff Marano from "How to Have Style"

Do you know what most people say when they meet me, even when they know I've had Stage II A Breast Cancer? "You look so good!!

Whenever they say that, it never fails to amaze me because it's so difficult for me to even look presentable. To get to the point where I can say, "Showtime Folks!" like Joe Gideon (Bob Fosse) did in "All That Jazz", I'm forced to confront a tired face, and a scarred body.  I have to find the energy to transform with makeup and clothes that reflect my own personal style.

On May 1, the facilitator for the Cancer Support Community-Benjamin Center's Writing Group gave us a topic which made me want to explore the subject of appearance. Below is the essay I wrote in response to the topic: Research indicates that holding onto unexpressed feelings or keeping a secret can take a great deal of energy in light of this I need to let you know that . . .

The effort I make to keep the secret that I'm not always "okay" by disguising it with my appearance has led me to a better place where I can deal with problems I wouldn't be able to handle if I didn't "front".  I'm not saying that it's always smart to pretend to be "okay" even when I'm not.  I'm saying that, lately, it's an alternative survival tactic that I need to use to confront issues that overwhelm me. Lately I've wondered how healthy this attitude is because it prevents me from asking for help when I need to and pretending to be strong when I'm not.

At times I'm glad I can reveal my process in my journal and my blogs, my articles and Writing Group and let go without worrying about others seeing who I really am when I'm totally vulnerable. One of the best ways I "hide in plain sight" is through my appearance, which I try to maintain whenever I'm out and about regardless of how I feel.  Realistically it's extremely difficult to keep up with fashion and popular trends when my mind is dually occupied with health issues, but I've found when I force myself to do it by either reading a fashion magazine or shopping at a store and buying something new, I'm diverted from the physical confines of my body and transported to the fun and glamorous world of appearance.

I don't feel separate any longer and instead of focusing and obsessing about all of my flaws caused by my illness and its side effects, I'm inspired by the transformation that new clothes bring, whether imagined or real. I feel like my old self again, even though deep down I've changed and I now see what used to be mere frivolity and happenstance in a new way. Now style's my armor and safety net, when I want it to be, which helps me deal.  And after reflecting during my down times when I'm my sometimes real raggedy self, it's a viable way to cope.

The Downside of Positivity; Giving Yourself Permission to be Real

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sara Zuboff is a certified Yoga instructor, massage therapist and thyroid cancer survivor.  Along with Sharon Holly, she teaches a monthly, 2-hour, yoga-based workshop at the Cancer Support Community-Benjamin Center entitled 'Revive & Thrive' in which cancer survivors create mind/body shifts to overcome overwhelm, stress and struggle.   For information on this and other free-of-charge CSC programs, please call 310-314-2555 or visit CSC's website at

At a workshop I taught last week, one of my participants had difficulty completing one of the exercises that included writing a letter of encouragement to herself.  She explained that she felt mired in feelings of sadness, anger and loss and she felt guilty over having these feelings.  Sometimes, I think when we’re going through something difficult there is a pressure to find the positive, to be positive, even when we’re not feeling up to it.

 When I received my own cancer diagnosis I had two family members who were diagnosed with different types of cancer around the same time.  Shortly after I finished treatment, they both died of their disease.  I was so wracked with guilt over my own survival, and whenever I spoke about these feelings, well-meaning friends or family encouraged me to be positive, to remember the joy of my six month old son and the beautiful family I had started with my loving husband.  And while I did feel those things, the truth is I also felt an incredible heaviness from this guilt.  Unexpressed, it cast a dark shadow over my days, making me short-tempered and on edge.  Which leads to an incredibly inconvenient truth about emotions; left unprocessed they will come out sideways, disrupting your life in unexpected ways until you turn around and face them.  However, I promise you that once acknowledged and processed you may find that your journey to positivity is much more ease-filled.

So, I write this in hopes that you’ll give yourself permission to feel all your feelings, even the scary ones.  I do have some tips that have helped me deal with mine and I hope they’ll help you deal with yours.

1.       Journal--Consider using your journal daily or whenever the mood strikes.  Write in a stream of consciousness style with the intention of leaving it all on the page.

2.       Move--Walk, run, dance, box…let your body move!  Not only will this release” feel-good” endorphins it will help release trapped, negative emotions.

3.      Speak Your Truth--Whether it’s your family, friends, therapist, or you have to go out and find a tribe of folks who have or are going through something similar, find a safe place to verbally express how you’re really feeling.  Words have power and by giving yourself space to really express ‘what’s up’ goes a long way towards empowering yourself when it comes to taking care of yourself and those powerful feelings.

4.     Feed Yourself Really Well--Whether it’s fresh whole foods (and I know that sometimes during treatment, eating is the last thing you want to do but do the best you can) or books, movies and social media;  seek out that which nourishes and uplifts rather than that which further shuts you down.

5.     Remember That This Will Pass--It may feel like forever, but these feelings, given proper care will pass and new ones will take their place. 

One of the gifts I got from going through cancer shortly after the birth of my first son is realizing it is possible to feel more than one feeling at a time.  I had periods of intense joy followed by astounding fear in a short span of time.  The trick is being present to both and allowing them to cycle through; because no feeling, when given space, is forever.  That’s the beauty of being human.

ACS Relay for Life Benefiting Hope Lodge

Monday, May 6, 2013

Attached you will find a flyer announcing the first ACS Relay for Life benefitting our own Hope Lodge! Download Flyer

Follow the easy steps to sign up as a CANCER CONNECTIONS team member!

The Relay will take place on June 25th from 5:30 to 10 p.m. at the Lodge.
It costs only $10 to be a Cancer Connections team member.
No fundraising is required, but your family and friends might wish to support your efforts.  Donations may be made directly to Hope Lodge.  Please contact:

 Lacey Duncan at or 352-240-5052, for more information.

If you are not able to join the fun, please consider making a direct donation to benefit the Lodge and the wonderful and vital services it provides to so many patients and their caregivers.  Without these services, many cancer patients would not be able to get the best care available.

I would love for you to join the Cancer Connections Relay team! 
Don't forget to recruit your friends and family members!

See you on June 25th!

Barb Thomas
Cancer Connections Relay Team Captain

Prevent Cancer Foundation Webcast

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Join us TOMORROW, May 1, for a free webcast on a topic that can help save lives: knowledge of family medical history. The webcast will be streamed live from the National Association of Broadcasters offices at 2pm Eastern time. Visit Prevent Cancer Foundation Webcasts to join in on the conversation.

The panel will be moderated by Dave Dubin, a three time cancer survivor and advocate for cancer screening and genetic testing. Panel members include:

Anna Maria Izquierdo, M.D., PhD, Primary Care Physician and former Medical Director of the Spanish Catholic Center
Beth N. Peshkin, MS, GCG, Associate Professor of Oncology and Senior Genetic Counselor at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Allyn Rose, Miss D.C., family medical history and cancer prevention advocate

The panel will cover a range of topics including:
•       The importance of knowing one’s medical history
•       How your family medical history can help reduce your risk of cancer and other chronic diseases
•       Strategies for learning about your medical history from family members
•       Genetic testing and genetic counseling

Before and during the panel discussion, audience members are encouraged to post questions for the panelists to answer on Facebook or twitter(@preventcancer).

April - May Issue of Cancer Stakeholder Available

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cancer Partners,

Please view the latest edition of our statewide newsletter, the Cancer Stakeholder. In it you will find information on topics including but not limited to:

Program Spotlight: National Minority Health Month (April), Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month (May)

State Update:The 2013 legislative session

Tools and Resources: Upcoming webinars & workshops, opportunities for continuing education credits, and the Surgeon General’s upcoming Symposiums

Cancer in the News: The latest articles from great resources such as Science Daily, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to name a few

Funding Opportunities: Ranging from gardening initiatives to obesity to cancer research grants

Events: Including local and national conferences of interest to our stakeholders

Smoking Cessation Resources: highlighting Tobacco Free Florida’s 3 easy and free ways to quit

Download here:

The People’s Scientific Conference to Promote Health and Eliminate Health Disparities

WHEN: Friday, June 14 and Saturday, June 15, 2013

WHERE: University of Florida | Gainesville, FL

WHAT: A novel, statewide conference that brings together community members, physicians and other health professionals, and researchers to teach and learn from each other ways to promote health and overcome chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.

  • Panels of providers answering conference participants’ questions about diseases
  • Panels of patients and family members speaking about influences on their health behaviors and treatment adherence and on ways to improve relationships with their health care providers
  • Presentations by nationally known medical and research experts on the health problems that are most common in minority, low-income, and underserved communities

Community Members/CHWs: FREE
Professionals/Researchers: $60
Undergraduate/Graduate/Medical Students: $30
Webcast Only: FREE
Register onlineor by phone (1-866-290-5770) no later than June 10, 2013.                                                            
Continuing education will be provided by the Suwannee River AHEC.

For more information, please visit the conference websiteor contact:
Brittany Myers, Conference Coordinator
Email:     Phone: 386-462-1551 Ext. 105
UF Health Disparities Research and Intervention Program
Email:     Phone: 1-866-290-5770

CONFERENCE DIRECTORS: Dr. Carolyn M. Tucker & Dr. Linda B. Cottler

Webinar: Ethnic Diversity and Cultural Competency in Cancer Care

Monday, April 22, 2013

On behalf of Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention, Cancer Program and Office of Minority Health


Please join us for a special live webinar panel discussion in observance of Minority Health Month 2013 entitled: "Ethnic Diversity and Cultural Competency in Cancer Care"

Providing cancer care to members of different racial or ethnic groups and disadvantaged persons can pose tremendous challenges to healthcare providers. Members of the cancer care team must respect and be sensitive to issues related to a patient’s culture, race, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status while providing optimal cancer care.

Many professional associations have emphasized the need to provide culturally competent care; many have developed standards or guidelines for delivering culturally competent services to increasingly diverse patients and families. Effective cancer care is no longer possible without a working knowledge and understanding of a person’s or group’s culture and background.

Sponsored by: Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention, Cancer Program and Office of Minority Health

Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Time:  2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Local Viewing Location: Betty Easley Conference Center, Room 182, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee, FL 32399Southwood Capital Circle Office Center (COCC)

To start or join the online meeting, go to:

Call-in number 888-670-3525; Code 4951362721

B. Lee Green, PhD, Vice President, Moffitt Diversity, Senior Member, Health Outcomes and Behavior Co-Director, Center for Equal Health
Richard Roetzheim, MD, Director and Professor, College Of Medicine Family Medicine, University of South Florida
Prado Antolino, M.A., CT, CMI, Manager, Language Services, Moffitt Cancer Center

Cancer Connections Meeting April 24th at the Hope Lodge

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Please join us next week on Wednesday April 24th for a presentation by Dr. Thom George, Jr., Associate Professor and Director of the GI Oncology Program at the University of Florida.   Dr. George will discuss  "Advances in Pancreatic Cancer Treatment."

We meet in the Hope Lodge conference room.  Please arrive before noon to allow time to help yourselves to lunch and find seats.

RSVP by Monday April 23rd if you would like to be included in the lunch count.  A $3 donation is requested, or you may bring a healthful dish to share. Brown baggers are welcome, too!

Feel free to pass along this invitation to anyone who might wish to join us: cancer patient, survivor, caregiver or cancer healthcare professional.

For more information, please send me an email.  

Hope to see you there!

Download Flyer

Best Practices in Navigation and Survivorship Survey Results Webinar

Friday, April 12, 2013

April 24, 2013 at noon ET

The GW Cancer Institute Center for the Advancement of Cancer Survivorship, Navigation and Policy (caSNP) recently administered the “Best Practices in Navigation and Survivorship Survey” seeking feedback from health care professionals who have developed patient navigation and/or clinical survivorship programs. GWCI staff will present the results of the findings. Topics covered will include:
  • Tracking Constructs and Tools
  • Program Funding Sources
  • Return on Investment
  • Financial Sustainability
  • Survivorship Care Plan Tools
  • Reimbursement Challenges
To register for the live webinar, please go to:
For questions or more information, please email us at

5th Annual Tobacco Rural Summit: Tobacco and At Risk Populations

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The next North Central Florida Cancer Control Collaborative (NCFCCC) meeting will be held as a joint event with Suwannee River Health Education Center (SRAHEC) on March 22, 2013 at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Lake City, FL. At the 5th Annual Tobacco Rural Summit, there will be presentations and discussion on Tobacco and At-Risk Populations as well as E-Cigarettes. Free CEUs and lunch will be provided.

Full details on the Summit are included below. Please share with interested parties:

5th Annual Tobacco Rural Summit: Tobacco and At Risk Populations

May 22, 2013

Holiday Inn & Suites,
213 SW Commerce Dr.
Lake City, FL 32025

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

  • Tobacco and the LGBT Population by Gustavo Torrez, The Network for LGBT Health Equity
  • Tobacco and Mental Health by Dr. Jamie Pomeranz, UF College of Public Health
  • The Electronic Cigarette by Sarah Catalanotto, Suwannee River AHEC
  • System Change and Reimbursement by Cathy Cook, Suwannee River AHEC

Free CEUs and lunch will be provided.

RSVP is required. Please RSVP to Sarah Catalanotto at by Wednesday, May 15th.

For questions and additional information, please contact Sarah Catalanotto, Tobacco Program Manager with Suwannee River AHEC, at 386-462-1551 or

On behalf of Suwannee River AHEC and the North Central Florida Cancer Control Collaborative, we look forward to seeing you on May 22!

Professional Education Opportunity: Childhood Cancer Survivorship

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Goal: To educate healthcare professionals about the late effects of childhood, adolescent, and young adult (AYA) cancer treatment and to improve the learning experience during and after cancer treatment.

At the conclusion of this program participants should be able to:
• Identify cognitive and medical late-effects of childhood/AYA cancer treatment 
• Describe challenges for survivors throughout their lives including education & career
• Develop strategies to help meet the children’s short and long-term medical & cognitive needs
• Understand the complex issues survivors face
• Identify strategies for educating patients and families about long-term follow-up needs

• Barbara Abernathy, LMHC, Ph.D, Program Director, Pediatric Oncology Support Team
• Cathy Senatore, RN, Pediatric Oncology Nurse, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital
• Elisa Jones, Child Life Specialist, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital
• Pam K. Wojciki RN-CS, ARNP, APHON, Coordinator Pediatric After Cancer Experience Clinic, Lee Memorial Health System
• Jessica Ardente, ARNP-BC, Childhood Cancer Survivorship Programs, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Date: Saturday, April 13, 2013 Time: 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Location: Embassy Suites - Fort Lauderdale 1100 SE 17th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

Pre-registration for this free program is required.
Register for the program at or call (954) 744-5310

For more information, Download Flyer 

Cancer Survivorship NEW E-Learning Series for Primary Care Providers

In collaboration with the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the George Washington University Cancer Institute (GWCI) is launching the Cancer Survivorship NEW E-Learning Series, for Primary Care Providers.  The E-Learning Series is designed to heighten the awareness of the ongoing needs of cancer survivors, gives primary care providers free continuing education credits with first-hand patient experiences, presentations by national leaders on survivorship issues, and case studies. The series is an integral part of the National Cancer Survivorship Resource Center and will be available to a range of health care providers including general medicine physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses who practice in a variety of primary care settings.

The series is free and addresses the current state of cancer survivorship.  Modules focus on the role of clinical generalists and specialists in providing follow-up care, how to manage long-term and late medical and psychosocial effects of cancer and its treatment, and the importance of survivorship care planning.  Please share this information with your coalition members and stakeholders. For additional information please contact Mandi Pratt-Chapman, M.A., Associate Director of Community Programs George Washington Cancer email:, telephone: 202-994-5502.

For more information, Download Flyer.

National Minority Cancer Awareness Week

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

UF Shands Cancer Center Celebrates Cancer Awareness Week: April 14 – 20, 2013

Calendar of Events

Sunday, April 14
Ministerial Outreach, with special prayers for survivors and community members lost to cancer.

Monday, April 15
UF Shands Cancer Center Community Outreach Display
9 a.m. – noon
Shands Atrium 

Tuesday, April 16
Cancer 101: African-American Cancer Resources, Awareness and Education
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
HealthStreet, 2401 SW Archer Rd. 

Wednesday, April 17
Cancer 101: Latino Cancer Resources, Awareness and Education
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
HealthStreet, 2401 SW Archer Rd. 

Thursday, April 18
Clinical Trials Information Display
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
HealthStreet, 2401 SW Archer Rd.
Cultural Competency Workshop
2 – 4 p.m.
HPNP Building Room G-112
Registration is required. Please contact Shannon Pressey at
Friday, April 19
UF Shands Cancer Center Health Disparities Program Open House
Click here for detailed information

Saturday, April 20
You are Not Alone: Surviving Colon/Rectum Cancer
American Cancer Society
Call 1.800.227.2345You are Not Alone: Surviving Breast Cancer
Sisters Network Inc.
Call 1.866.781.1808You are Not Alone: Surviving Prostate Cancer
Prostate Net
Call 1.888.477.6763

Webinar: Understanding the New American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) Consensus Guidelines

Monday, April 8, 2013

Presented by: L. Stewart Massad, MD

Monday, April 15

Dial-in Information
Toll-free Number: 1-800-988-0227
Participant passcode: 3972682

Net Conference Access Information
Participants can join the event directly at:

Conference number: PW9137646
Participant passcode: 3972682

This call will be recorded.
On March 21, 2013, ASCCP released the new 2012 consensus guidelines for management of abnormal cervical cancer screening tests and CIN/AIS.  These guidelines comprehensively revise management strategies with clear algorithms. The new guidelines recommend more conservative management for women 21-24 years of age and provide guidance on co-testing. They build on past guidelines but incorporate data on risk from almost 1.4 million women screened with the Kaiser Permanente Northern California group, allowing for more refined management. Dr. L. Stewart Massad co-authored the 2001 and 2006 ASCCP guidelines and was the chair and meeting author for the most recent updates. His presentation will provide an overview of the updated consensus guidelines and scientific review.

Dr. Massad is a professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. His career has focused on cervical cancer prevention, and he has also worked on assessing relationships between HIV-induced immunosuppression and cervical cancer and cancer precursors.

Dr. Massad received his medical degree from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina where he also completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology. He trained in internal medicine at Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York and completed a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Dr. Massad earned his Bachelor of Arts at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Breast Cancer Yoga Therapeutic Products

Friday, April 5, 2013

Breast Cancer Yoga products offer true love and support for the receiver.
  1. Start with the "Gentle Restorative Yoga" DVD practice, and the yoga is just that; gentle and restorative.
  2. Next indulge in a well needed dry brush massage for exfoliating the skin and stimulating the lymphatic system.
  3. Then take a soothing bath of pink bath salts. This will  replenish vital minerals for your body. 
  4. After therapeutic bath, mist a calming aromatic spray of lavender to the skin and then apply the aloe vera cream (offered in gift basket) to moisture even more. 
  5. Use the soft lotus candle for restful and soothing lighting. Available in our gift baskets.
  6. There are four nourishing tea blends to explore Sleepy, Tummy, Sleep and Immune.
  7. Additional items offered in our gift baskets are a beautiful tea cup, tea ball, 12 honey sticks, crystallized ginger and papaya.
  8. The "Breath With Purpose" CD is an added pleasure for quieting the mind and healing the body. Use it while experiencing the quiet of your bath experience. 
  9. Give the gift of love.

National Asbestos Awareness Week April 1-7

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Last month, the United States Senate established the first week of April as National Asbestos Awareness Week. This week, we are reminded of the hazardous and fatal dangers of asbestos and are given an opportunity to spread public awareness and to take a moment to remember those affected by the deadly fibrous material.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral known for its heat resistance, tensile strength and versatility. It was commonly used from the 1930s to the 1970s for everything from fireproof clothing to commercial construction products. It has even been implemented in every branch of the U.S. military.

The problem is that this widely used mineral is highly toxic. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, some may become lodged into the lining of the lungs. Repeated inhalation of asbestos can lead to tumor growth and the development of mesothelioma cancer and other asbestos-related diseases (pleural, pericardial, testicular, and peritoneal mesothelioma.)

The importance of asbestos awareness is significant because thousands of Americans are affected by asbestos-related diseases and cancers. Approximately 2,000 to 3,000 Americans are diagnosed annually with mesothelioma, a rare cancer almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure. Once diagnosed with this horrible disease, the average lifespan is one year for a mesothelioma patient.

During this week, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, which is the largest independent asbestos victims’ nonprofit organization in the U.S., hopes to significantly raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos by hosting an online exclusive candlelight vigil Monday honoring those fighting preventable asbestos-caused diseases and to remember those we have lost.

ADAO has also launched a Global Asbestos Awareness online campaign that will include seven posts called “7 Facts for 7 Days” on its website, which will include one post a day about varying asbestos-related subjects.

To continue spreading the awareness of the hazards of asbestos even after this week, consider extending your knowledge of asbestos for Mesothelioma Awareness Day, Sept. 26.

How You Can Spread Awareness:
  • Make Mesothelioma Awareness Day an official day in your hometown or state. Just notify your local city council, which will tell you exactly what you need to do to proceed, or contact your state governor’s office and then contact the state legislature in both the Senate and House for a permanent state Resolution.
  • Use social media to spark conversation
  • Organize a fundraising event to raise funds for mesothelioma or asbestos research
  • Make t-shirts or bracelets to wear during National Asbestos Awareness Week or Mesothelioma Awareness Day, or any other day dedicated to spreading awareness of the dangers of asbestos exposure
  • Participate in local asbestos awareness events

This week is dedicated to promoting education, awareness, prevention and rights for victims, but many Americans are affected by asbestos daily and some may not even know it. Do your part and take a stand. Use your knowledge to spread public awareness and help save lives.

Author bio: Kaitlyn Teabo is a writer for The Mesothelioma Center. She combines her interests in writing, cancer research and emerging scientific technology to educate the mesothelioma community about asbestos and its related diseases.

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. Press Release: ADAO Applauds the U.S. Senate for Unanimously Passing S. Res 66 Designating the First Week of April 2013 as “National Asbestos Awareness Week.” Retrieved from

UF Cultural Competency Workgroup Presents: "Achieving Cultural Responsiveness" & "Understanding the National Standards for Culturally & Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health Care"

Date: Thursday, April 18th, 2013
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Location: HPNP Building (UF Campus), Room G-112
Instructors: Susan Horky, LCSW and Folakemi T. Odedina, PhD

This training is designed for UF administrators, faculty, healthcare providers, researchers, and staff.

The goal is to increase the awareness, knowledge and skills required to function effectively in the context of cultural differences within the healthcare system and in human subjects’ research.

(Pre--registration is REQUIRED. Maximum of 25 participants)

To register, please email Shannon Pressey at

For more information, Download Flyer.

UFSCC Cancer Health Disparities Open House

When: Friday, April 19th, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Where: Shands Auxiliary Conference Center, Shands Cancer Hospital (South Tower) 1st Floor,1515 SW Archer Road, Gainesville, FL 32608

Registration Required. To register, please email Shannon Pressey at to RSVP. Deadline to register is April 17th.

For more information, Download Flyer or visit

Hookah Smoking: A Public Health Concern

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Webinar hosted by Florida CCRAB Tobacco Workgroup.

Presenter: Mary P. Martinasek PhD, RRT, RPFT
University of Tampa - Public Health Program

To view a recording of this webinar: 


Monday, April 1, 2013

This is the last installment of Michael Sieverts' Tips/Tricks to Recover Your Life.  Please see past posts for valuable information and resources from Michael on a variety of topics, including nutrition, meditation, and support.
Michael Sieverts is a brain cancer survivor since 2000. He is the instructor for Cancer Support Community’s qigong classes in the parks. Roxbury Park classes meet every Tuesday & Thursday from 10:30a.m. to 12 noon and in Clover Park every Monday and Friday from 9:30 to 11:00a.m. Free to all those affected by cancer. Call 310-314-2555.

Last but not least: the goal is not to live forever, nor to return to an old place, but rather to transform ourselves into healthy people, utterly at peace with ourselves, our families and our friends. Create a tradition of peacefulness:

● Feel gratitude
● Forgive yourself, lighten up, and loosen your grip. Find some humor in your situation.
● Cycle through the Mel Brooks catalog and other comedies.
● Connect to others, don’t try to keep everything internal. Cultivate relationships with those who support your healing process and your medical choices.
● Be aware of whether someone is being helpful or not—and if not, find a way to marginalize and ignore them.
● Develop an immune-competent personality, monitoring and taking care of your own needs, and resisting becoming a self-sacrificing martyr.
● Reduce your anger, stress and anxiety.
● Don’t do anything you hate doing—if it’s something that you have to do, find a way to re-frame it so that you’re not flooding your system with stress hormones.
● Use your illness as a teacher—learn what it can tell you about medicine, about compassion for yourself and others, and about how to care for yourself.
● An illness is a terrible thing, but with the right attitude it might be a benefit—and it might wind up being the best thing that ever happened to you.
● Find your true talent, discover your purpose in life. Why have we been put here?

Reading List and Web Resources:
I’d like you to keep in mind Raymond Carver’s last poem:
Did you get what you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To find myself loved,
To feel myself loved, on this earth.